Asset 2


  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Rest Time: 30 mins
  • Feeds: 10 people


  • 5kg Fresh Free Range Turkey
  • Smoked Streaky Bacon
  • 1/2 Head of Garlic
  • Fresh Thyme 
  • Salt and Cracked Black Pepper 
  • Butter

In many households at Christmas, it is not excited children who are the earliest risers, often it is the poor cook, wearily squeezing the turkey into the oven, in most cases well before Father Christmas has had a chance to snaffle his mince pies.

Why does the Christmas cook insist on dawn rising to get the turkey on? I am afraid urban myth and frozen turkeys have a lot to answer for here.

A whole 5kg fresh turkey (perfect for a family of 10/12 and still leaving plenty of cold cuts) will only take just over 3 hours to cook. But, be sure to leave at least half an hour for the turkey to rest before carving – covered with foil, the meat relaxes and is easier to carve and actually continues to cook even out of the oven.

There are many differing opinions and recipes on how to cook the perfect turkey, here at Parson’s Nose we prefer to keep it simple with garlic, thyme and smoked streaky bacon.

Have a very Merry Christmas from the team at Parson’s Nose!


  1. Remove your turkey from the fridge a few hours prior to cooking so that it reaches room temperature, this will relax the meat, helping the cooking process.
  2. Season the bird all over with a good quality course sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, fill the cavity with half a head of garlic and a handful of fresh thyme. Slather a generous amount of butter on the breast and cover with several rashers of Parson’s Nose smoked streaky bacon.
  3. Placing the bird on a trivet allows the heat to move around, helping the turkey to cook evenly. If you don’t own one, no problem, arrange a few carrots in the base of your roasting tin and sit the bird on top. Place into a hot oven (225 ̊C/200 ̊C Fan) for 30 minutes.After 30 minutes at the higher heat, baste the turkey with cooking juices and cover with foil. Turn the oven down to 200˚C/180˚C Fan and cook for a further 2 ½ hours, basting every ½ hour.
  4. After 3 hours take the turkey out and leave to rest in a warm place, covered in foil for ½ hour. Once the Turkey has rested carve and serve.